Health

Breakthrough in AIDS treatment?

Tel Aviv University researchers have developed a new method to fight the HI virus that could lead to a type of AIDS immunodeficiency disease vaccine. The scientists’ study was published last week in the journal Nature. “We have developed an innovative treatment that can defeat the virus with a single injection and has the potential to significantly improve patients’ conditions,” said study leader Adi Barzel.

ANTIBODY So far there are quite effective ways to relieve the symptoms of immunodeficiency disease for those affected, but no cure. The HI virus attacks the body’s white blood cells, weakening the immune system.

Tel Aviv scientists, in collaboration with other Israeli and US researchers, have now genetically engineered white blood cells type B so that they can secrete anti-HIV antibodies. The method has already been shown to be successful in animal experiments.

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During treatment, patients are injected with these blood cells. They aim to induce the immune system to form antibodies and thus to fight viruses, bacteria and other invaders.

RACE TO ARMAMENTS When the genetically modified B cells encounter the HI virus in the body, the B cells would be stimulated to divide and multiply. “We use the true cause of the disease to fight it,” says Barzel. “As the virus changes, the B lymphocytes change accordingly to fight it, so we created the first drug that can evolve in the body and defeat viruses in the ‘arms race’.”

The scientist went on to say that the antibodies were produced from the blood and made sure they could actually neutralize the HI virus in the lab plate. “All test animals that were treated in this way reacted and had elevated levels of the desired antibody in their blood,” Barzel continues.

Now it is hoped that the technology will lead to the production of a drug against AIDS and other infectious diseases in the coming years, he added. The results of the Israeli researchers could also be useful for cancer therapy. month

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